28 August 2008 12:19 [Source: ICIS news]
TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical Corp (MCC) plans to cut the operating rates of its three crackers to 80-85% from September until the end of December on weak downstream demand, a spokesman from the leading petrochemical producer said on Thursday.
The producer has two crackers with a combined capacity of 851,000 tonnes/year at Kashima, Ibaraki prefecture, and another at Mizushima, Okayama prefecture, producing 450,000 tonnes/year of ethylene.
All three plants were currently operating at 93% capacity, the spokesman said.
MCC would decide on ramping up operating rates at the crackers by the end of the year depending on ethylene demand, he added.
The No 2 cracker at Kashima, which was restarted on 22 August after a scheduled maintenance shutdown, was not operating at full rates as two of its furnaces were still under repairs after the fire in December.
The company expected to restart furnace No 7 by the end of this year after getting approval from the authorities, the spokesman said.
"As for furnace No 8, it looks impossible to be restarted within this year unless a miracle happens," he added.
Other major Japanese chemical producers including Mitsui Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical and Sanyo Petrochemical had also reduced operating rates at their crackers in the past few months.
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